Thanks for taking the time to read this post.
As a student nurse in the UK, I must complete 2300 hours of unpaid work in healthcare settings, such as care homes, hospitals, and in the community. I recently moved to the area where my university is located, and the cost of living is much higher than my home town. The financial burden of these 2 factors were not enough to make me turn down the opportunity to be the first in my family to go to university, and fulfil my dream of becoming a registered nurse. My tuition fee is £9250 per year, not including travel, accommodation, or living costs.
In order to fund my studies, I applied for student finance. My application was granted and I will be awarded tuition for this year along with a maintenance loan (for living costs, etc.) Of £2000. On top of this, I had around 4K in savings which I thought would be more than sufficient as I was confident I would get a job soon after arriving which would mean I could continue saving.
When I arrived in the new area, I had to pay around £2000 for my deposit and first months rent along with council tax. I should be exempt from paying council tax (£90ish per month) but I’m still waiting on the council to approve my exemption status (this has been ongoing). As well as this, my rent is £900 per month on top of other travel and bills. I felt like it would all be fine though, because I landed myself a job with a BUPA care home. I just had to do 4 days of training and then I could start work.
Then the requirements changed in response to the pandemic. Care homes then required all their staff to be double vaccinated. So firstly, I had to register with a GP which took around a week or two before I was fully registered and able to book my first vaccine. Then I had to wait 8 weeks in between before I could get the next one. During all this time (to this present minute) I still haven’t received my student funding from Student Loans Company (mentioned in the previous paragraph), meaning I’ve had no income since arriving and my savings are gone.
I can’t afford this months rent.
I start my next unpaid placement a few days after my rent is due. I need to buy essential items for my placement (specific type of shoes, assessment instruments, etc.) and I will need to pay for travel to and from placement, as well as my new job. I’ll have to work for a month before I start getting paid at the care home.
I’m normally very good with money, always had savings for a rainy day, and managed my bills and credit card well. I got myself into some credit card debt so that I could see my family and not be alone in a strange city over Christmas. I’ve since paid it all back (around £500), however it has been the final nail in my coffin.
I don’t know how I’m going to afford to live through the next few months. I don’t know when I’m going to finally receive my student finance loan (like come on just give it to me it’s not as if I won’t be paying interest on it for a substantial portion of my life LOL 🥲).
Being a nurse is all about trying to help people during vulnerable times in their life. Making a positive difference. Any contribution to my cause will forever be remembered.
Thanks for listening 💕
☘️Go raibh maith agat ☘️